THE SOCIETY OF
UNITED STATES NAVAL
AEROSPACE & OPERATIONAL PHYSIOLOGISTS
Human Performance Optimization
Disclaimer: The views expressed by SUSNAOP are not that of the U.S. Navy.
CAPT Paul Wesley Scrimshaw USN, (ret.)
Aerospace Physiologist #8.
Captain Paul Wesley Scrimshaw, USN (ret.) ascended to his final promotion on High to be with his Commander, the Lord Jesus, on Friday, April 23rd, 2021. He was born in Coleta, Illinois on December 16, 1921 to Rev. Clifford A. and Gladys Scrimshaw. He and his ministerial family lived in Virginia and Western New York from the 1920’s to WWII. His military career began in July, 1942 when he enlisted in the Army Air Corps Reserve. In 1943, he was ordered to active duty for Basic Training, followed by assignment to College Training Detachment in State College, PA. He was then assigned to Aviation Cadet Classification, Army Air Forces Pre-flight (pilot) and Primary Flight Training in Ocala with PT-17 (Stearman biplane). In 1944 he went to Basic Flight Training with Vultee BT-13, Beech AT-10 and B-25 Mitchell. Due to the need for navigators over pilots and his high test scores, he was assigned to Navigation School with Beech AT-7. On his 23rd birthday, he was commissioned 2nd LT, as a designated Navigator.
Soon he was on his way to the China Burma India Theater of Operations, the 7th Bombardment Group (H), 436th Bombardment Squadron, HUMP RUN-MONSOON SEASON. Safely navigating the end of the war, he was assigned to 14th Combat Cargo Group and eventually accepted a commission in the Air Force Reserve in 1946.
He finished college, graduating from American University in 1948. In May 1949, he transferred to the Navy accepting a commission as an Ensign, MSC USNR. After working in biological research, Naval Medical Research Institute, he was recalled to active duty as a LTJG in 1952 and designated an Aerospace Physiologist #8 in 1953 in Pensacola, FL. His first assignment was at Barber’s Point, Terr. Of HI.
As a LT, he closed the Aviation Physiology Training Unit (APTU) in Atlantic City, NJ (1954-58), and started the APTU at MCAS Beaufort, SC (1958-60). As a LCDR he started the APTU at Cecil Field, FL (1960 – 65). Then proceeding to the NAS Norfolk APTU, he was promoted to CDR and ADDU Staff AIRLANT. In 1969 he was assigned Chief Aviation Physiology, BUMED ADDU CNO in Washington, D.C. He was presented the Paul Bert Operations Physiology Award in 1971 by the Aerospace Physiologist Section, Aerospace Medical Association. He was promoted to CAPT in January 74. He continued to serve as Chief Aviation Physiology Service, NAMI, Pensacola (1976 – 79) and ADDU CNET to May 79. He retired in September 1979.
One of his fellow physiologists previously wrote, “I have great memories of CAPT Paul going all the way back to 1967. He was a part of the generation that won WW2 but claimed no glory for himself. He upgraded the Navy's Aviation Physiology Training program that saved countless pilots, flight officers, and aircrew lives over the years especially after the post-Vietnam era. Truly a great American.
The mission of SUSNAOP is to advance the science, art, and practice of Aerospace & Operational Physiology and its application to Naval Aviation; to foster professional development of its members and enhance the practice of Aerospace & Operational Physiology within the Navy; to strengthen professional and communal ties; and to optimize solidarity and the professional standing of U.S. Naval Aerospace & Operational Physiologists.
The Society of U. S. Naval Aerospace & Operational Physiologists (SUSNAOP) was forged out of the dreams of physiologists over the course of several decades. Many physiologists desired an avenue to merge both a social club and a scientific association together. The first SUSNAOP meeting was held at the FAILSAFE Conference within the AIRPAC conference room on 7 Feb 2000 whereby ~60 active duty aerospace physiologists were in attendance. Following the conference, the first SUSNAOP newsletter was issued in April 2000...
Contact SUSNAOP Historian: SUSNAOPHistorian@gmail.com
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